Monday, 29 July 2013

29 July : In memory of Swami Turiyananda

वीरेश्वराय विद्महे विवेकानन्दाय धीमहि । तन्नो वीर: प्रचोदयात् ।
Sri Ramakrishna did not allow everybody to practice the nondual aspect of meditation. What good is it to proclaim that you are one with the Absolute unless the universe has vanished from your consciousness? Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ‘You may say that there is no thorn, but put your hand out—the thorn will prick, and your hand will bleed.’ But with regard to Swamiji, Sri Ramakrishna said, ‘If Naren says that there is no thorn, there is no thorn; and if he puts out his hand no thorn would prick it, because he has experienced his unity with Brahman.” When Swamiji used to say, ‘I am He,’ he said so from his direct perception of the Absolute. His mind was not identified with his physical self.

At the Baranagore Monastery we used to study scriptures and philosophy a lot. Swami Abhedananda particularly engaged himself in much study. Swamiji did too and also meditated many hours. We all practiced great austerities. Sri Ramakrishna made us do it. Then we attained the bliss of liberation while living through the Master’s grace. Free as the air we have lived—depending on none, feeling no lack, without cravings, fearless! Yes, we know the joy of liberation! We used to wander from place to place, depending entirely on the Lord. We would beg for alms when we were very hungry. Wherever it got dark we made our home. What freedom!

Swami Abhedananda used to avoid all types of work. He would shut himself in a room and engage himself in study and meditation. He used to say that he did not wish to work. Sometimes he would observe complete silence and not talk for days on end. Some of us used to be angry with him for that. But Swamiji said: ‘You people are jealous! You can’t bear that somebody is doing something to improve himself. He is not lazily idling his time away. What if he doesn’t work! Never mind, you don’t have to work either! I’ll do everything!’

Swamiji said at one time: ‘As long as you have been born on this earth, leave an impression on it.’ At the Baranagore Math he remarked: ‘Our names will be recorded in history!’ Swami Yogananda and some other brother-disciples made fun of him. Swamiji retorted: ‘You will see if I am right or not! Vedanta is the only religion convincing to all. If you don’t listen to me, I will go to the quarter of the untouchables and teach them Vedanta!’ In one of his letters Swamiji wrote: ‘When I go for alms, I give people something in return.’ Give and take—that is the motto for a monk. Monks who live only for themselves and don’t even practice spiritual disciplines are impostors.

We have seen Swamiji meditate the whole night, then early in the morning he would take his bath; and people did not know anything about his austerities. I never saw Swamiji sitting idly; he either studied or conversed on God or meditated. 

Letter to Ms Margaret Noble

Mon, 2013-07-29
29 July 1895 : Inspired Talks
Ingersoll once said to me: "I believe in making the most out of this world, in squeezing the orange dry, because this world is all we are sure of." I replied: "I know a better way to squeeze the orange of this world than you do, and I get more out of it. I know I cannot die, so I am not in a hurry; I know there is no fear, so I enjoy the squeezing. I have no duty, no bondage of wife and children and property; I can love all men and women. Everyone is God to me. Think of the joy of loving man as God! Squeeze your orange this way and get ten thousandfold more out of it. Get every single drop."
That which seems to be the will is the Atman behind, it is really free.
29 July 1897 : Letter to Ms Margaret Noble in response to her wish to come to Bharat
....You must think well before you plunge in; and after work, if you fail in this or get disgusted, on my part I promise you, I will stand by you unto death whether you work for India or not, whether you give up Vedanta or remain in it. "The tusks of the elephant come out, but never go back"; so are the words of a man never retracted. I promise you that. Again, I must give you a bit of warning. You must stand on your own feet and not be under the wings of Miss Muller or anybody else. Miss Muller is a good lady in her own way, but unfortunately it got into her head, when she was a girl, that she was a born leader and that no other qualifications were necessary to move world but money! This idea is coming on the surface again and again in spite of herself, and you will find it impossible to pull on with her in a few days. She now intends to take a house in Calcutta for herself and yourself and other European or American friends who may come.(Read fully - very imp letter
29 July 1897 : Letter to Swami Ramakrishnanda in his efforts to establish Math at Madras
Are there any new boys joining the Math? If so, then carry on the work in the same manner as it is being done in Calcutta. At present don't use up your wisdom too much, lest it should become completely exhausted — you can do that later on.
Pay particular attention to your health, but too much coddling of the body will, on the contrary, also spoil the health. If there is not the strength of knowledge, nobody would care twopence for your ringing of the bell — this is certain; and knowing this for certain equip yourself accordingly.